Greatest Enemy (David Rivers)

By Jason Kasper

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Readers` Reviews

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mishaal
WOW! It is very rare for me to give an author's first novel a five-star rating But Jason Kasper's JAIS (David Rivers Book 1) definitely deserves the highest rating. The novel moves very fast, and it is very hard to put down. I read in two days. The author's prior personal experience in both combat and BASE jumper gives the details of fighting and jumping an incredible realistic grit. Like many of the great authors of this genre, the main character is tragically flawed, but the read really cares about his trials and tribulations. You really feel his internal struggle. Great for readers who like Tim Tigner or Matt Rogers.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
tim williams
Kasper's deep background in special operations shines in the tactical scenes; from the movements and shooting to the planning (and even the *hand gestures*) Kasper's descriptions of combat read like a lucid memory of a real firefight, not some armchair general's fantasy like you see so often in this genre. I've been comparing Jais to Michael Mann's superb film Heat - the characters are flawed and driven, the violence is as realistic as it is harsh, the world is brutal, random, and sometimes poetic.
The first major action sequence in Jais had my heart beating, I could feel the bullets snapping past my head. Given that this is a first time author I figured the book would drag out after that scene until the final 30 pages or so to deliver one more action sequence. I was wrong! The pacing of Jais is superb, it lets you briefly catch your breath only to dive right back into more and more technically accurate combat scenes.
If you enjoy tactical thrillers like Clancy or the Bourne series then come into Kasper's world and buckle your seat belt. You won't be disappointed!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kristen mulvoy
As a literature major I've read hundreds of books from both budding and famed authors but this may very well be one of the best! Make sure you have plenty of time to devote to reading because you will not want to put this down. David Rivers' character is interesting and compelling and his "journey" through life is not one to miss. Can't wait to read more from Jason Kasper!
The Lies of Spies: (Kyle Achilles, Book 2) :: A gripping psychological thriller with a killer twist :: The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test :: How to Win Friends & Influence People (Miniature Editions) :: THIEVES ON THE FENS a gripping crime thriller full of twists
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sarah kuiken
As others have said so very well written. I enjoy this genre and often the writing especially a newer writer so heavy handed and amuturish.
Jais book one is as good as it gets and fresh. Not some re creation of an existing successful action character.
Well done Mr. Jason Kasper.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
pippo067
I thank Captain Kasper for his service. However, I cannot finish this book. There is so much detail that I get lost, then struggle to get back on subject. Get rid of the blow by blow thoughts and movements as well as the depressed self-loathing attitude of your protagonist.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
alexis mokler
Over the top profanities. So unnecessary. Too many gunfights. Altogether a depressing book. Would be nicer to have one death and lots of suspects or red herrings than the other way round. Not attempting any more from this author.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
julia meinwald
It is hard to believe this is Jason Kaspers' first book. David Rivers is on a mercenary team which has elaborate planning of a deadly mission. Ultimately David is the sole survivor because their mission and team are betrayed and massacred by their emp!oyer. Lots of breathtaking action and heart stopping results of their planning.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
franc woods
Mind bending pain pushing to the edge. Sorrow for past crimes,sadness of loss or agony of unfulfilled moments? What could make YOU look into the abyss ? After reading Jais, I have a pretty good idea what could....
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
nathan n r gaddis
A page turner, and thrilling story, that will captivate any level reader. For an avowed non book reader, this story kept me hooked and reading more and more. The details are Clancy like. Great work Captain Kasper!
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
glen quasny
i am a great fan of thrillers, but this one left me cold. The central character was in no sense a hero and had few redeeming qualities. He was not working for his country or for any greater good, but rather for a treacherous underworld figure. Don't waste your time.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
aubrey harms
This book is one of the more stark and memorable books I've read recently. The author's writing paints vivid depictions of the scenes and the story is infused with a sense of realism. The author made a good choice I think to approach the story by incorporating elements from his own life experience.

I also liked that the hero was not black and white (all bad or all good). In fact, at first it was somewhat jarring but overall made the story a more unique experience than the same old "perfect" good guy who always does the right moral act.

Additionally, good writing touches on and reveals universal truths and you will find those here as the author reflects revealingly on issues of suicide, thrill seeking as a way to self-medicate depression, and the downsides of being overly persistent.

I found this particularly interesting as someone who has worked in a mental health clinic and has seen many, many patients describing their struggles with depression and suicidality (note, often the issue is in part a lack of necessary neurotransmitters for optimal mood which is my medication that restores them can be worth a try).

I felt I could also identify with the author's thoughts of never finding school and other "mundane" aspects of life to give them same enjoyment as (in his case combat or extreme sports).

Overall this is an excellent and unique series that is more than just an action story, and I will be following it and I hope the sequel is coming out soon.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sarah alharbi
Damned fine read. Spoiler alert.

This one starts 2008 with David Rivers, ex Army Ranger and West Point Grad. He never made it to Lt. because they found a medical issue. Five years of his life wasted.

Right now David is in the home of Peter Macalister. A Macalister who made threats against David. He won't survive the night and will prove what a coward he really was. Dave blows his brains out with his own shotgun then quietly walks out of the house.

On the way back to his hotel room David stops at a liquor store and buys bourbon. Woodruff reserve. Expensive and what David needs to drink. David is also thinking about suicide. He doesn't do it but once in his hotel room he's taken prisoner by three men.

David has no idea who these men are but Boss, Matz and Ophie know who he is and they know he killed MacAllister because they watched him do it. David will be joining these three Spec Ops operators in his new job.

So begins one damned fine read.

This one has David, Boss, Matz, Ophie, Karma, Ian, a David who is one very capable guy who has green eyes and movie star looks, a man who survived deployments in both Iraq and Afghanistan as an Army Ranger, he has no problem killing and not much upsets him except for his far from perfect life, a girlfriend Sarah he had for eight years till she threw him to the curb for his best friend, another girl Laila, another woman who threw him to the curb when she got a look at his laptop, the laptop he writes in, Boss, Matz and Ophie plan the jobs and they and David carry them out, they have a Handler who Ian doesn't trust as far as he can throw the man that no one ever sees, death, destruction and betrayal and David Rivers doing his best to fulfill his missions, survive and stay alive.

Fire Stars
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
sarah kathleen
“Jais” or "Greatest Enemy" (I read the Jais titled one but the books are the same) is the story of a struggling soldier trying to escape his demons by becoming an adrenaline junkie, whose ultimate thrill comes in escaping death while simultaneously dancing with his suicidal impulses. David Rivers believes he has nothing left after the army, until his final bloody score turns into a new beginning. Que private military contractor’s being hired out to do less than legal things, shall we say? When David realizes that this may be the kind of fix he’s looking for, he jumps all over it. But things don’t go the way they were supposed to and, really, do they ever? Penned by a Special Forces Captain, this book really, really shines when the author is showcasing weaponry and combat as they are presented in both an accurate, and thrilling manner. As a first book in a series, and the first book by a (then) new author, the series shows promise, but I will say it feels a bit like a second draft. Allow me to explain.

Well, actually, first things first: some trigger warnings. Like I mentioned, the main character is dealing with some serious issues that are both combat related, and probably the result of family trauma, but that’s not discussed much in this book. As such, he’s got some serious, SERIOUS suicidal impulses. Despite multiple people telling the main character to get professional help, he doesn’t and continues to keep a loaded pistol by his bed and spends most his nights writing about his desire to kill himself, wondering if today is going to be the day. So if that’s something that’s going to bother you, you may want to skip this book as those impulses are persistent throughout the entire story and become a vital piece of who David is (I have mixed feelings about that). Also, this book does not shy away from graphic violence, torture, and strong language. I mean it’s a book with a soldier main character who spends over half the book in a tight nit group of, essentially, mercenaries, so of course there is strong language because that makes sense for the characters and of course there is graphic violence. There is only one scene of torture, but it’s also fairly graphic. Again, if that’s not your cup of tea, you may not want to read this before bed, just saying. Still, a lot of that goes without saying, but given some of the reviews I’ve seen of the work, I feel I need to state those elements early so people don’t pick up this book thinking it’s going to be like the Jason Bourne movies where you see the bright explosions, but not the blood.

Now, while suicide may be a sticky subject for a lot of people, I thought it was interesting, to a point. Part of me was hoping that hints of discussing these impulses as part of a soldiers PTSD where he’d ultimately try to “get better” for lack of a better word, would materialize. It doesn’t, at least, not in this book. Instead, David turns into a really sad character (like, actually depressed) with probably the worst luck imaginable. No larger discussion is ever brought up and instead this “flaw” if you will, is used as a way for the reader to feel sympathetic towards David, and I would have, if there had been a bit more substance to both David, and the crew he works with. Still, I enjoyed that the main character wasn’t an almost super human spy of sorts. He’s flawed, he messes up, he wants to do right by the people he cares about, those are qualities I can get behind, but I wanted to see more of David beyond his destructive tendencies so I could like him more, and genuinely empathize with him along the way.

Additionally, the first book feels a bit bare bones. The first 20% or so of the story is focused mainly on David’s destructive behavior and—again—his terrible luck. Then the next 25% is spent on David’s initiation into his new team. At about the 45-50% mark in the book, we are finally introduced to the main villains. Up to that point, David’s been doing smaller jobs without much idea as to why they are tasked with eliminating certain people and 0 clue as to the end game, though his teammates are nowhere near as clueless as he is. To be introduced to the mysterious organizations (yes, I guess there is more than one?) that late in the book… needless to say, it got confusing because there wasn’t much in the way of development. I assume these organizations are awful because they are probably smuggling drugs and weapon trafficking because, well, aren't they always? But Kasper doesn’t spend much time on them, or their shadowy overlord, which makes them feel overly generic and not all that intimidating to be honest. I still can’t really tell you why these organizations were targeted by the main character’s group, or even what these organizations were doing, or why they were nervous about some other mysterious entity. Again, as this is the first book in the series, I’m sure all of this gets addressed in subsequent books, but I would have liked the main antagonists to have more substance to them this time around as well.

Normally, when a book is missing the elements that give weight to the story, it’s a troublesome read for me. It’s hard to get through and ultimately leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth. I’m happy to say that wasn’t the case for “Greatest Enemy / Jais”. Kasper is great at writing action sequences and he has a natural talent for placing them in the book at steady intervals to keep the pacing up and the book flowing. This was a great action-packed ride in that regard, and I did enjoy reading it (I mean, clearly, I finished it in a few days once I actually dove into it). Our leading man has the potential to develop into a great, endearing character, I just wish he had started that transition a bit more in this first book.

All in all, I liked the book. This is a great first book by a—then—new author in a brand new series that definitely has the legs to go far. I will say reading the book made me concerned for the author at times, but even that’s a testament to the believability the author has when writing about David’ struggles and the combat he engages in. The plot was a bit lacking, and character development was on the small side, but the action kept me engaged and the violence and language didn’t bother me, but then again, I have a pretty high tolerance for those things. Still, I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone under 18 because of the mature content present throughout the entirety of the novel. Color me intrigued for the next book! But this one I’m giving 3.5 stars just because I wanted more from the main character and more substance when it came to the plot and antagonists, but overall, a good first book in an action-thriller series. Thank you to the author for providing me a copy for review!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
zezee
Greatest Enemy by Jason Kasper is book one of the David Rivers series and an explosive way to start. It is a roller coaster ride, full of action and suspense, that will you have rushing to the end.

David Rivers is adrift in life and suffering from PTSD from tours in Afghanistan and Iraq as an Army Ranger. Since his release from the military, he has become an alcoholic with suicidal tendencies and is in desperate need of an intervention. He gets one of sorts, just not in the form he truly needs. He is recruited to join a team of mercenaries because of his experience in BASE jumping. Just the thing an adrenaline junkie needs to stave off the suicide thoughts.

At only 25 he is the youngest member of the team and must prove himself. He sets out with vigor to do just that. However, there are forces, unbeknownst to him, that are working against him. Will he have the tenacity it takes to make it in this new career path?
The story reminded me a little of the Jason Bourne books. The prose was not as polished but the story was good. The main focus was the action and sometimes, as occurred here, the depth of the story and characters is a little shallow. I am hoping that future books will delve into David River’s story more so the reader can connect with him in a meaningful way. This is not to say I did not understand him and have empathy for him, because I did. I just think there is room for improvement.

I feel the story is geared toward a male audience. In addition, the language and violence in the book are not for some readers. However, the scenes of violence where not overly graphic except in just a couple of cases. I feel comfortable recommending this to readers who like a fast paced book with lots of action and drama and do not mind the subject matter and violence.

I received a free copy from the author in exchange for my honest review.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
tric
What happens to combat vets after they (try to) return to society? They can attempt to shrug off their past and blend in by working at mundane tasks. They might suffer from PTSD and need to be treated with psychotropic drugs and therapy. Or they can deal with who they have become and continue to chase adrenaline rushes to try and keep their personal demons at bay. "People don't change. They simply grow into what they always were." David Rivers appears to have grown into his own skin and demonstrates all of the physical and mental skills that will allow him to be an efficient killer.

"JAIS" is the debut novel from Jason Kasper. It has a stark realism to it and played out as a black and white film in my mind as the story developed. Nothing seemed to be presented in brilliant colors, everything came across to me in shades of grey. Our protagonist, David Rivers, has recently returned from two combat deployments overseas only to find that a physical condition prevents him from continuing his successful and fulfilling military career. Depression hits him hard and he turns suicidal.

David needs adrenaline rushes to replace those he frequently had while in combat. To keep his personal demons at bay David connects with others who also pursue dangerous activities to give purpose and excitement to their lives. Base jumping becomes their "drug of choice" but the dark wave of suicide continues to strengthen and becomes stronger and more demanding. Like every other type of addict, the need for the adrenaline rushes grows rapidly and causes David to take increasing risks over shorter periods of time. That is when a girlfriend's former beau crosses the line with David and threatens his life. Big mistake. Combat tactics and planning result in the former beau being David's first domestic target. Fortunately someone has already been watching the victim with the same intention. Even though David is captured while committing this crime he ends up being given a life-altering opportunity.

Jason Kasper has written an entertaining and interesting story about an ex-military hero who turns his skills into a successful mercenary career. However the main story is about David's personal battle with depression and suicide. The author has either done extensive research into his subject matter -- or he has experienced these thoughts himself. His main character's thought processes are too detailed, too accurate, and too personal not to have lived through it. Since new authors are always encouraged to "write about what you know", this accurate rendering doesn't surprise me. So while this is a book of action and violence, it also deals with the fragility and complexity of the human mind. Now that takes some skills!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
sarah severson
JAIS, The David Rivers Series, Book 1. PAPERBACK Edition ISBN 978-0-9983813-1-2, a thriller in e-book by Jason Kasper.
Protagonist David Rivers entered the army immediately after graduating from High School, served several tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, and then was accepted to West Point. Just before graduating he was informed that because of an unusual heart condition, he would graduate but could not be commissioned. He was foster home raised, is single, has no family, only one friend who shares the highs of base jumping, has a now worthless degree and has lost not only his one love ( who was being bedded by his one-time best friend during his long absences) but a more recent one as well who refuses to accept his negativistic attitude and leaves. He becomes involved with a group of former Special Forces individuals working for a wealthy “handler” for whom they perform clandestine, often mass, killings for a price. As the “boss” informs him “If your enemies don’t kill you in this business, your employer might. And if you follow this path any further, you’ll ultimately have to leave the country. And it’s a hard dangerous road to even earn that.” The tale unfolds as David settles into their routine of successful missions until the ‘boss’ again speaks confidentially with him before what is supposedly their final mission before ‘retiring’. He says he has a strong feeling he will not survive this time and wants David to know: “The worst enemy those guys (their cohorts) will ever face is a man with a gun. Ours is our own mind, and you can’t kill that unless you do it for good. Other than that, the only difference between you and me is about twenty years of experience and your alcohol tolerance….You’re an arrogant little cock*******, but so was I. You’re a quick study, and the guys are giving you s*** while they can. If this business is around for you to stay in, you’d be giving the orders someday. So be careful when you decide what you’re going to do after our last job. Because this—he held out his arms, his beer bottle in one hand, his exhausted eyes leveling with mine— is what the view looks like.” Apropos the ‘boss’s feelings’ the last mission has catastrophic elements and the basics for the next book in the series are nicely set in place.
This is the author’s first book, well written, and only could be written by one who has personally experienced combat. It verbalizes extremely well the mental patterns of thought so often experienced and which end in a situation which science has deigned to designate simply as PTSD. It is a pattern that leads to David’s high level of alcohol tolerance and his need to gain highs produced by dangerous tasks, all interspersed with intermittent thoughts of suicide. He expresses the needed feeling of elation: “But racing through that building and shooting at armed men in a desperate plea to make it to the roof—it was a waking dream, a life-altering event that made use of all my f***ed-up experiences. I didn’t care how bad my body hurt today. I didn’t care that the girl was left alive. And, throughout the planning and execution of that mission, I certainly didn’t care about Sarah or Laila or anyone else. I didn’t care about the Army, either—four wasted years at West Point, five counting the prep school, and I wasn’t good enough to serve in combat again? Now, I had done something far more dangerous than I ever had in war, something that command would never have approved in the first place. And if it had happened, they would have been pinning medals on my chest.”
Conclusion: JAIS is a book with faults. There is some lightness of characterization and a somewhat loosely woven plot. The graphic depiction of torture, repetitive killings, blood and guts is plentiful and disconcerting for some. However, the presentation of a mind endlessly tortured as a result of repeated trauma and the resulting needs created is engrossingly presented in a high octane action thriller. But a caveat and recommendation also should be provided – not only is it captivating for the action aficionado, but even though the book can be depressing it also provides a look inside the troubled minds of combat veterans that would be well worth anyone’s time to read, especially when so few understand.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
ashley roth
I do not know the author, but as a 'top reviewer' he reached out to me with a free copy for review. I agree with the general findings of most reviewers. As a first novel, this is a fine beginning for a series. There is plenty of action and plenty of military know-how. There is BASE jumping and advanced parachuting technique. David Rivers' suicidal psychology strikes me as believable (I had a former special ops guy as an office mate) but I found myself skipping over the italicized paragraphs of David's introspection. On the 'women' side of things, there is a deep and continuous string of 'lost love' that cannot be regained. Where the books shines is its exploration of a new source of adrenaline and the usual but well-written combat sequences.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
melissa p
Simply Brilliant. It’s easy to see that Jason Kasper knows this subject very well, with his background in Special Forces, but what he’s done really well is putting together a highly entertaining and interesting plot, that had me glued to the pages for hours. David Rivers is a great character, and I really enjoyed his dry sense of humour and quit wit. The action scenes are fantastic, and it’s really just a great story.
David Rivers pretty much lives in his own world, and he’s not used to relying on others. Not surprising though since he grew up without his parents, and then his plans to stay in the Army didn’t pan out. Even his best friend let him down in the worst possible way. So when the chance comes up to join a team of Ex-Special Force Operators, he jumps at the chance. With his background as an Army Ranger and his skills in parachuting and base jumping, he’s the perfect fit for the team. Although he experienced war in Iraq and Afghanistan, David was about the experience a whole new level of Violence. If you enjoy Action Thrillers then this is a book that is definitely worth a read.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
ian stearns
I read this book and the next two. I thought this book was the best of the series and it earned three stars. Limited character development, stilted dialog, and too much long-winded introspection by the protagonist (all of 21 years of age). Occasional bursts of action, followed by more introspection. The nex t two books are not understandable without reading in order: 1,2,3... The cliff hanger approach is a turn off for me, as is the never ending nicknames-- the Boss, the Handler, etc. I cannot recommend.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
marti
(Note: the author was kind enough to provide me with a copy of his book, which is why my ‘Verified Purchaser’ bona fides don’t show up for this review. Rest assured, I’ve read it...)

This first installment of the David Rivers novels caught me off guard for several reasons. First, the hero is a mess. He’s a brilliant and capable man, a battle tested warrior, a committed alcoholic, and a profoundly damaged human being with a monumental death wish. Second, the story is well structured and immediately gripping; the first scene presents SO many questions that one simply must keep reading to shed light into how he got there. And third, I was NEVER taken out of the story by technical problems. Nothing ruins a good story for me as much as inaccurate descriptions of things I happen to know about. In everything from gun handling to BASE jumping, firing mortars to close quarters combat, Jason Kasper writes like he’s been there.

The thing that distinguishes this book from so many others of the genre, however, is the deep exploration of the protagonist’s deep depression, suicidal ideation, and the descriptions and analogies through which his suffering is communicated to the reader. It can be rough, as other reviewers have intoned, but it provides an insight into Daniel Rivers that is often missing with the lead characters of otherwise good novels.

I highly recommend this for folks who are fans of mystery/thriller novels and military adventure as well. It’s well worth the investment of a few bucks and a few hours. Oh, and bonus: if you like it, there’s a sequel available, and the third installment is due out in April!
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
balthasaar
Two things about this book really turned me off. First, the protagonist and the team of ex-special operatives are completely amoral, killing and torturing without compunction and talking about how much they enjoy murder. Second, there is no plot to speak of. The book describes a series of armed assaults without providing any context or rationale. I found it engaging at first but as soon as a took a moment to think about what I had read it lost its appeal.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
arrianne
JAIS is a fast paced, action packed read. I couldn't put it down once I started. It hits all the important parts of the story while, not boring you with too much unnecessary fluff. I definitely appreciate a book that can capture my attention and keep me on the edge of my seat. JAIS does both flawlessly. The authenticity provided by the author's real life experiences add more depth than any of these other non-military types can imagine. Having lived the life of a Special Operations soldier and officer definitely makes Jason Kasper a cut above his contemporaries in the ability to capture the essence of being in combat. I am definitely looking forward to the next chapter in the David Rivers Series and maybe another book by this exciting new author. DTOM, 36 Mafia!
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
mary walsh
I’ve been commenting lately on the number of protagonists found in action and adventure novels who have demons to overcome as they fight bad guys. Jason Kasper, in his first book, “Jais,” has stepped it up a notch by having his hero on a suicide trip, always sticking a gun in his mouth and threatening to do himself in.

The author, in my opinion, should find a kinder way to endear his hero, David Rivers, to readers. It’s obvious this is the start of a series and I, for one, have already grown tired of Rivers’ constant grappling with his tortured psyche. Between alcohol, nicotine, and suicidal leanings the poor man lives a tortuous life. I have attained the same mindset to reading about him. Why go on?

Kasper has filled his book with unlikely scenarios, gratuitous blood and guts, confusing action, and an undecipherable storyline. He obviously knows the basics of firearms, explosives, baseline jumping, and bourbon but needs some seasoning on plotting, characterization, and writing dialogue. Keep writing, sir. I sense your enthusiasm and wish you great success.

Schuyler T Wallace
Author of TIN LIZARD TALES
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
majella
Into the depths of despair and anger, a you man leaves the Army Rangers behind for West Point. He was graduated, but not commissioned and from there his life spirals into insanity as he joins a group of behind the scenes contract killers. He is a man of evil, yet great integrity. This action/adventure is impossible to put down. I'll begin reading Jason Kasper's next installment now.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
rodman
Really enjoyed the first David Rivers' novel. An interesting main character with more hurdles to overcome than is polite. yet when it comes to duty and performance -- he answers the call.

One of the new the store writers with a serial novel approach -- with a great lead into the next!

Congrats! Now on to the next...
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
regina green
Written by one who actually experienced the chaos and aftermath of close combat,bthus hook gives the reader an insight into the legacyEnemy of war and patriotism. A book that nice you get into it, grabs your attention and makes you want to read without stopping. Great read, looking forward to next installment.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
swankivy
I almost didn't finish reading this book. I would start, switch to another book then return to this one. Quite frankly I am not sure I will read another David Rivers book, however, there is something compelling about this character. It was also well written and insightful.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
cora
Where to start? I am a voracious reader and absolutely love this genre of fiction. This story was incredibly compelling, entertaining, and thought provoking. It was "honest." As a combat Veteran myself, and having served with Jason in the 82nd Airborne, I can absolutely identify with those dark thoughts and the dark passenger that seem to be in all of us who have seen war. Many times it felt as though I were intruding on the mind of the author, uninvited. It made me feel "uncomfortable" at times, but not in a bad way; In a real way. It gave truth and legitimacy to the story. The only area which I believe can be better is in character development. It was there. But, I was left with wanting to know even more about his past, his dreams, and his thoughts/motivations. Along with some of the other main characters. But I'm certain that will get better with the next books in the series. I look forward to the second book and will most definitely be buying every book in the series that comes out. You have a fan and buyer for life, my friend. Congrats on a very well written first novel!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
katie nielsen
This novel is action-packed, and comes from a unique perspective. All the operators I've ever known have had a troubled mind . This novel tells the story from that perspective making it much closer to real life. It's well-written easy-to-follow and the characters are likable enough and relatable.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
sam kearns
I love books written by fellow vets, it helps put into words the things that I never knew how to verbalize, without adding too many details of the true life that we already see at night. Thank you so much for putting into words the thoughts that other vets fear we are alone with. Reading of David’s struggles reminds me that, although I’m in a better place, not all of our brothers are, and it’s up to those like me to help get them away from their own .454. Thank you, Sir. Essayons!!!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
chelsey
This is a very good novel, well written, with deep insights into this mind of a veteran and subsequent killer, with suicidal tendencies. There was more killing than I was comfortable with, but overall the book was good. I will get the next one but I will wait a bit to allow my mind to mellow.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
the bad witch mckay
I read this for free through Prime Reading - I'm glad I didn't pay for it. The main character is just worthless. The suicide them is overwrought and unbelievable. The other characters aren't likable or believable. Save yourself the money and time and read something else instead.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
diana clarke
This was an excellent book. The character of David Rivers is interesting, in some aspects crazy, and always on the edge. The plot is not your normal government agent saves the world, but something quite unexpected. It's a page turner, and I found it enjoyable.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
lausanne
I wanted to like the protagonist but he is so full of self loathing and despair it colored my feelings of hope for him. Wish there had been something that made me want to cheer him on but alas this character is almost to flawed
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
trubshaw
This book was amazing! I usually do not read fiction military genre books; however, I made an exception for JAIS. I have read a few other fiction military genre books like "Black Site" by Dalton Fury. Fury's book was great 2/3's of the way through, but had a rough ending. I had the same expectation with JAIS, but I was proved wrong. Jason Kasper did an exceptional job with this writing. The entire book was a great read, and the ending may be it's best attribute. This story was very deep. I would recommend this book to anybody who likes military genre books, action, suspense, or simply those who enjoy a good read. The length of the book was optimal, long enough to get the full background of the character and the story, but short enough where you can read it in just a few days. If you love a good book like I do, you may not be able to put it down. I am looking forward to the second book in this series.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
lieke
The lead is an alcoholic ex-military who seems to be just want to kill himself. Who are the Five Heads and the Handler? Nothing in the story even attempts any background. The action sequences are nearly porn like in their excess graphics.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
thaddeus sebena
As someone already mentioned...a very smooth read. The only thing that would've made the book more enjoyable is having a scotch every time the main character chose to partake. I actually felt as if I was letting David down by making him drink alone...a sign of the authors ability to create the connection with his characters. BRAVO
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
lisa gaa
There is a lot of action in this book. There is a lot of mental self blither about attitude and reasoning. They just didn't seem to smoothly connect. The writing is intelligent. I felt the story is out of balance.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
carolwilsontang
Jason rates right up with any top Author out there. His writing style and Military mindset reveal what some of our veterans deal with internally. Add the mercenary view and you get David. The twists and turns are unpredictable. Just when you think you know what is next your thrown for a loop. I rate his writing up with Clancy and Ludlum. Once I opened the cover I couldn't put it down until I was done. Can't wait to start David's continued journey through Offer Of Revenge..
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
hugo t
A bit dark but it offers a fast pace, good writing. I did, however, skip over reading the few "diary entries" that detailed suicidal insanity -- I want to be entertained, not bogged down psychanalizing the main protagonist's motivations.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
claudia wilcox
I liked the story. I did not exactly care for the ending but I did liked the characters. I thought a few parts could have been better written. A couple of parts felt rushed. Overall a gooid book. I am currently reading the second.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
michael k
Never judge a book by its cover. This book was recommended and loaned to me. I must say, I didn't think I'd particularly enjoy the read as it did not appear to be within my typical genres. Boy, was I wrong! I was engrossed within a few paragraphs and read the entire book over a couple of days. Only one good thing about my procrastination -- I don't have long to wait for the sequel. I'm sure I could borrow the next book as well but I will buy it as soon as it is available. I want this author to be successful as I want to read more of his writing. He has definitely expanded my literary horizons.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ravena
So here's the deal! I have read 1 or 2 books in my day. Like literally 2 not counting this one. The other two sucked. War and Peace was hot garbage compared to this. I hung up Hemingway half way through the first chapter. Even if I imagine Leo as Gatsby, that book is a snore fest compared to Jais. So this is top secret and if you have read this far you have been authorized to read it. I'm pretty sure this book is about me. I saw the Author in a pair of silkies and no shirt once and I think he downloaded my soul and my life story. So yeah. Buy it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sandra ashley
I am in the middle of re-reading the first two books in anticipation of the third installment. I have enjoyed them even more this time around. Jason has done an amazing job capturing the dark humor and complicated motivations of his characters. As cliche as it may sound, I could not put the book down and have finished it just as quickly the second time around. The story and characters had me hooked from the beginning and I look forward to the next part of the story.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
chaitanya
The author delivers the violent story in a manner unlike most if not all others. There is so very much that simply is not known to the reader that it becomes somehow more real, more plausible than so many other reads. Definitely intriguing and I'll be enjoying subsequent stories in the series and will definitely try other books by the same author
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
alyssa fioravanti
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes John Wick and Jason Bourne.

Jason Kasper does a fantastic job crafting a story around the troubled soul, David Rivers. Seeking purpose in a life that has slowly deteriorated before his very own eyes after seeing the horrors of war, David Rivers finds himself working with a motley group of mercenaries hired to take out high profile targets; but only to find out that there's more to this deadly game than he is ready to understand.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kathy wimmer
This series pulls you in from the beginning. I remember muttering the words"holy s#!t" somewhere in the first chapter. I found myself trying to read faster than I could comprehend and turning pages somewhere just above deliberate to the point my wife would glance over with her "really face". I have recommended this book to several friends and even purchased for a couple friends and had it delivered to their houses in other states.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
susan gilroy king
My son came back from Iraq with PTSD. Based on my observations of him since discharge, this character, David Rivers, personifies a lot of our young ex-warriors today. The sad reality is that our military is skilled at transforming well-adjusted men into very capable killing machines but they fall short at undoing that training when it's time to return them to their families and civilian life. David Rivers is the product of this circumstance. This story touched a lot of buttons with me. Really well written. Looking forward to more from this author.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
nir k
This book found it way to me in a very difficult time in my life. I was a captive audience to say the least. The story, underlying themes, and message Kasper is preaching through his character David Rivers is both inspiring and necessary for anybody with a public safety/military background.

Thank you for what you are doing for the community and looking forward to seeing how this series plays out for years to come. I am a fan for life now.

This is a must read series.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
chris witt
The whole suicide theme is ridiculous and immature. Impossible to suspend your disbelief. Author is scuba diving in the baby pool. I forced myself to finish the book which paralleled the supposed pain of the main character. Fortunately, I survived and will live to read another day (and different author).
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
amber royal
I read a lot of work in this genre and am deeply impressed by Jason Kasper's first novel. Unlike some similar novels that involve non stop action, the reader gets to look behind the curtain a little and understand the thinking of a combat veteran. Both the training and the action scenes have tight authenticity. Highly recommend.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jenn von essen
This exquisite piece of literature was masterfully written! It perpetually draws one in, fostering a subconscious inability to put it down. Best enjoyed while sipping high quality bourbon in a leather bound chair by the fire.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
bob peake
Phenomenal book I really appreciate the way the author transforms your mind and pulls you into some of the characters experiences. This was actually a great coping mechanism to deal with the stresses from combat. Thank you for taking the time to use your superb skills in writing and sharing them with the world. There were several times that I had to stop reading the book and Google some of your phrases. Great job can't wait for the second book.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
tonya hill
It looks like you have to read other books to understand what it’s all abought. Only bunch of violence. Wasn’t that great or interesting. Leaves you hanging. Mediocre at best for book 1. Looks like greatest enemy in within your self. Would not purchase other books in the series.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ayelet
Awesome! I read it it in two days and will likely end up reading it again while waiting for the next installment. The perfect level of detail at the right moments which in addition to keeping the book fast paced, added realism without drowning the reader in endless prose. I wish I had learned about this book after the series was complete so I could read them all now.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
teddy ray
Written by a military professional, and it shows. Kasper's character development feels authentic, and the pacing is consistently blistering. It's written by a man who experienced the horrors of war firsthand, and understands the inner demon Soldiers face when the war ends.

Hard to put this one down, and you'll be upset the whole series hasn't been finished yet.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
tonwallast
Great debut! Kudos as well to the editor. I will absolutely purchase the sophomore effort. I finished the new Matthew Reeilly book a coupla days ago and thought I'd have an "action book hangover".

Nope.

A great read that didn't disappoint. Ready for more. Bring it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
carol sheets
I read the first 62 pages in one sitting, then crushed the rest of the book in the second sitting. I really enjoyed the darkness and ambiguity of the protagonist, it makes the story much more real. It has the best opening scene out of anything that I have read in a long time, but as with all good books, and the end left me wanting more. I am looking forward to more from the series to see where it goes.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
almand
One of the better books I have read in the last few years. Kasper brings to life an incredibly unique character and a story line that is absolutely enveloping. On par with a "Mitch Rapp" type series. Couldn't put it down once I started, and can't wait for the second installment!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jarret
I normally don’t read nonfiction but gave this one a go on a short flight. I could not put it dowm. Jason is great at getting the readers attention and highlighting emotions through his writing. Really a great read! On to Part 2.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lin christiansen
Kasper not only captivates the reader he immerses you in a world full of raw emotions. Outstanding work, truly depicts the inner struggles resulting from combat while offering just a hint of hope. Looking forward to more from Jason Kasper!
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
jeejy
The good: The guy on the front cover....
The bad: pretty much everything else! Stilted dialog, inane base jumping sequences, really really long entries in a diary about killing himself. I couldn't get past the first couple of chapters, it was that bad. Please don't listen to the reviews, they have to be fixed, sorry there is nothing satisfying about this book.
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